I am coming from a tea-loving culture. My people have the highest per capita tea consumption in the world with an annual total consumption of close to 7 pounds per person! Most of my childhood memories involve my grandmother with her tulip-shaped glass full of black tea. I stopped drinking tea for years after I came to the United States, only to re-discover it through my studies in herbal education for women’s health, and Ayurvedic nutrition.
I wanted to share with you, my chosen family, what I learned from my education as well as from my biological family.
Simple, Immune-boosting Tea
I use this tea as a base and then add some other ingredients if needed. According to Ayurvedic medicine, consuming cayenne pepper benefits your digestive system. It is a powerful anti-oxidant and is known to boost the immune system.
- 3-4 slices fresh ginger.
- Organic cayenne powder
- Tea of choice (I love oolong or black tea, but it’s fine if you want to use herbal)
- Liquid sweetener to taste (honey if not vegan. We use blackstrap molasses because it’s naturally rich in antioxidants, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.)
- Plant-based milk (optional, but it is really soothing and more satisfying, especially if you are new to drinking teas).
- Bring 3-4 slices of fresh ginger (skin on) to a boil and simmer for approximately 20 minutes
- Use ginger water to steep tea of your choice.
- Add cayenne powder (to taste/tolerant level).
- Sweetener to taste
- Add plant-based milk (optional. To taste).
Important note: You can consume this a few times a day when feeling under the weather. However, if you have a Pitta imbalance (eg. burning digestion, overactive metabolism, red/irritated skin, feelings of anger, impatience, irritability, perfectionism, excessive heat in the body), you will want to eliminate cayenne and similar hot spices from your *regular* diet. It is probably fine to have this tea from time to time but refrain from using cayenne if you intend to drink it every day.
Tea for upset stomach
This tea is great for nausea, upset stomach, and indigestion. Instead of brewing tea, I use Rasa Original Brew. I know it’s supposed to be a coffee alternative, but adding the other ingredients, it’s more like tea to me. I like this mix because it has dandelion, along with eleuthero, chaga, and shatavari (probably one of my fave adaptogens for women). The root of the dandelion is rich in inulin, a type of soluble fiber that supports the growth and maintenance of healthy gut bacteria in the digestive tract. Dandelion root is traditionally used as a gentle digestive bitter to improve digestion and relieve nausea. It is also an amazing detoxifier, helping the liver, maintaining hormone balance, supporting the kidneys with its gentle but effective diuretic effect.
- 1 tsp lemon balm
- 1 tsp chamomile
- 1 tsp peppermint leaf
- 1 tsp Rasa Original
Place the loose teas into your French press. Brew for around 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea.
Mullein (or, “Verbascum thapsus”. I love its botanical name!) has long been used to help with coughs and other respiratory issues, as well as sin conditions like eczema. It helps with respiratory issues because of its antispasmodic and expectorant properties. If you are not vegan, the addition of honey to this tea can be very helpful in soothing coughs. I make a big batch and keep it throughout winter in a glass jar. When you want to make it, just take 1-2 tsp of the below mix and brew for 5-10 minutes.
- 1 part chamomile
- 1 part marshmallow leaf and flower
- 1 part mullein leaf
- Organic, “ethical” honey to sweeten (optional)
- Plant-based milk (optional)
Winter Pick-Me-Up Tea
I love grey skies. I know it’s not “normal”- if you, like pretty much anyone I know, dislike winter months, or if you are in need of a pick-me-up, this tea will be helpful. Lemon balm is traditionally called “the gladdening herb,” because it brightens the spirit. Again, I make a big batch and store it in my glass containers.
- 1 part oatstraw
- 1 part lemon balm
- 1 part spearmint
- to be brewed along with licorice tea
- 1 tsp Rasa Original
I find that I need to steep this for a longer period, like 15-20 minutes. Sometimes I stir in some sweetener, and warm coconut milk. Hope you enjoy!
Moon Balance Tea
- 1 teaspoon lady’s mantle leaf,
- 1 teaspoon silverweed leaf,
- 1 teaspoon raspberry leaf,
- 1 teaspoon yarrow flowers (or leaves)
- Bring the water to a boil. Place the herbs in your Tea Pot, or French Press*. Pour the boiled water over, and infuse for 10 minutes. I add the Yoursuper mix at the very end, and stir.
*Again, if you don’t have French Press or a Tea Pot, feel free to use any strainer you would use with loose teas/herbs.
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Editor’s note: The information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions regarding a medical condition before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programme. This is especially important if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, and/or breastfeeding.